How Slots Work – The Complete Beginner’s Guide

Are you new to casino slots? Are you a beginner looking to learn more about slot machines and slot variations? Casino Spy is here to help with a complete beginner’s guide.

What are casino slot machines?

Slot machines are popular casino games that are well suited to the online casino setting.

Slot machines are perfect for those players who are new to the online casino world, and many casino beginners choose to play the slots before tables games. This is because casino slots are games of chance and do not require a high level of skill to play and enjoy.

Millions of online gamblers enjoy a wide range of casino slot games and slot variations every day.

In a classic casino slot game, a player will activate the spinning of ‘reels’ which display numerous symbols and signs. The reels will continue to spin until a combination of symbols is randomly produced.

In online casino slots, the aim of the game is to get a valuable combination of symbols. Because players have little to no influence on the way the reels will spin, the game is down to chance, with more spins generally raising the odds of taking home a win.

Why are casino slots so popular with online players?

While slots can still be found in every land-based casino, casino slot machine games have flourished online. Casino slots are popular with online players due to their fast pace, rewarding nature and accessibility within the online casino market.

Online casino slot machines place emphasis on engaging visuals, colourful graphics, unique interfaces and relatable themes. All of these attributes translate perfectly to the online format, especially when it comes to playing on mobile.

Slots are so easy to play that pretty much anyone can take on the reels for the first time and stand as good a chance as a seasoned player of winning. This makes casino slots particularly appealing to beginners.

How do different types of slot machine games work?

Aside from traditional three-reel slot machines, There are bunches of modern slot variations to choose from.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular casino slot machine variations that you may encounter when playing online.

Three Reel Slots / One-Armed Bandits

These classic favourites are the oldest and most traditional casino slot machines, but they are still commonly seen and widely played.

Affectionately referred to as the ‘one-armed bandit,’ this three-reel slot machine used to work mechanically using physical reels as opposed to the digital screens. At online casinos, everything is digital, but the rules remain the same.

The one-armed bandit features three reels, each of which displays symbols like bells and fruit.

The spinning of the reels used to be activated by a player physically pulling on a lever, though now you can simply click a button or swipe a screen online.

The one-armed bandit’s reels spin until a random line of symbols stops on screen. If you have the right combination of symbols, you win the corresponding amount of money.

Video Slots

Video slot machines are far more complex than the classic three-reel machine, allowing greater depth of gameplay and more bets and potential outcomes.

The symbol combinations of video slots are digitally determined, and software displays the reels on a digital video screen. Video slot machines typically feature at least nine pay lines, which means that players can bet across multiple reels and numerous spins simultaneously.

Because video slots work across multiple reels and pay lines, it is possible to produce far more symbol combos and unique outcomes using video slots than traditional three-reel slots.

Aside from the greater odds potential and the possibility of securing a high payout, many online video slot machines also offer players bonus games and perks including free spins.

Penny Slots

Penny slot machine games are cheap and accessible slots which enable players to experience premium casino slot play for the lowest possible buy-in.

Penny slots work just the same as video slots. The only notable difference is the cost of placing a bet.

As you have probably guessed by the name, penny slot machines impose a buy-in value of (you guessed it) just one penny, which means that each player can get in on the action no matter how limited their playing budget may be.

Penny slots are ideal slot machines for beginners, as the risk of losing a lot of money is low.

As well as casino slot beginners, penny slots are also popular among casual players and mobile gamers looking for a quick bit of fun that won’t break the bank.

Penny slot machines are particularly appealing because although it only takes a penny to spin the reels, it is still possible to walk away with big winnings.

The potential for winning is equal to that of a video poker machine despite the low buy-in.

Progressive Jackpot Slots

Progressive jackpot slots are perfect for those players seeking competitive casino slot gaming that is full of risk and reward. Progressive jackpot slots tend to be most popular with high-rollers, so beginners should approach progressive slots with caution.

This kind of casino slot machine features the biggest jackpots and the highest potential for large winnings.

While progressive jackpot slot machines might not be the best choice for casino slot beginners, they provide an exciting and unpredictable playing experience that can really keep you on the edge of your seat.

In a progressive jackpot game, the jackpot value is influenced by the bets of the players, with a percentage of each bet accumulating to make up the final winning jackpot.

Because of this, the final value of the winning jackpot can fluctuate wildly depending on the number of players, the minimum betting limit and the alternating betting patterns of the players.

Some progressive jackpot slot variations that are popular online include Wide-Area Progressive Slots, In-House Progressive Slots and Stand-Alones.

Bonus Games

Bonus casino slot games allow players to extend their spins, pick up rewards, play bonus spins, spin for free and pick up bonus content, prizes and benefits.

Bonus games can come in handy for beginners as they can give your playing budget a boost and extend the lifespan of each round.

There are a wide variety of slot bonus games and casino slot bonuses that online players can expect to receive.

The most typical slot bonuses and bonus games are hold and spin games, free spins, sliders, cascades and wilds.

Bonus games can work differently depending on which slot you’re playing, so make sure you read up on a specific site’s game rules and regulations before buying into any bonus slot games, even if the spins appear to be free.

Community Slots

Community slot machines are similar to progressive jackpot slots because both slot games allow players to build a communal jackpot from betting percentages.

Jackpot slots tend to focus on the betting percentage, while community slot machines enable players to receive incentive-based bonuses and rewards within the game.

Most community slots feature two video screens. One screen shows the player notifications and payouts and the other shows community bonus values along with the size of each player’s respective payout.

Community slots are great for beginners because personal bonuses can help to boost your game.